Who is the man arrested for the fatal shooting of Shinzo Abe

Who is the man arrested for the fatal shooting of Shinzo Abe

N Melo
by N Melo
July 9, 2022 0

Who is the man arrested for the fatal shooting of Shinzo Abe

41-year-old tells police he was ‘frustrated’ with former Japanese PM and had ‘intention of killing him’

Shinzo Abe

A 41-year-old man has been arrested for murder after the fatal shooting of the former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

The man, Tetsuya Yamagami, reportedly told police after his arrest on Friday that he “was frustrated with the former prime minister and targeted Abe with the intention of killing him”, according to the national broadcaster NHK.

Police said the suspect had confessed and had a grudge against what was described as a “specific organisation” he believed Abe was a part of.

Abe was only a minute into his speech, delivered to the public at a traffic island in the western city of Nara, when Yamagami, dressed in brown trousers and a grey shirt, approached from behind. He pulled a weapon from bag and began firing.

Tetsuya Yamagami is arrested after the shooting.
Tetsuya Yamagami (bottom) is arrested after the shooting. Photograph: Katsuhiko Hirano/AP
Two gunshots were heard, and a cloud of smoke appeared. Audience members ducked down in terror. A witness told NHK they saw fragments of plastic fly over the crowd.

Abe collapsed, his shirt marked with blood. Bystanders began to give first aid.

Yamagami was immediately tackled by men in suits, who appeared to be security officials. He did not try to run, or say anything, witnesses told local media.

Police officers dressed in protective gear, helmets and carrying shields, later raided his apartment in Nara city. Inside, they discovered more guns and a potential explosive device and warned members of the public to stay away.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves as he leaves the Ground Self Defense Force’s Asaka training ground after reviewing troops in Asaka, near Tokyo, Japan, 14 October 2018.
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Yamagami used a handmade weapon in the attack on Friday morning: a double-barrelled device, wrapped in black tape, had been found on the ground near where Abe was shot. Japan has some of the world’s strictest rules on gun ownership, and extremely low rates of gun crime.

“The first shot sounded like a toy bazooka,” a woman told NHK. “He didn’t fall and there was a large bang. The second shot was more visible, you could see the spark and smoke.”

Abe sustained two wounds on the front of his neck, about 5cm apart, according to Hidetada Fukushima, professor of emergency medicine at Nara Medical university hospital.

Officials from the local chapter of Abe’s Liberal Democratic party said there had been no threats before the incident. Abe’s planned speech had been publicised on Thursday evening.

It is not known if Yamagami is employed, though defence ministry officials said that he spent about three years in the maritime self defence force, until about 2005.

The Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, Abe’s successor, said the suspect’s motivations were unclear. He described the upcoming elections as “the very foundation of democracy” and said the attack “cannot be tolerated”.

He described the shooting as a “heinous act”.

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N Melo
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